Utility Week

UTILITY Week 3rd June 2016

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Page 11 of 31

The Topic: Infrastructure security INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY THE TOPIC 12 | 3RD - 9TH JUNE 2016 | UTILITY WEEK U tilities provide services that are essen- tial to everyday life. Without elec- tricity, gas and water, things would quickly grind to a halt. For a number of unscrupulous characters – in the UK and around the globe – utilities are seen as a target. These individuals and groups have a range of motives, from terror- ism to extortion. To achieve their ends, they will attack the assets that utilities own and operate, both physically and, increasingly, digitally as the Internet of Things and the smart revolution grows and takes hold. In response, utility companies must pro- tect their assets – and protect the country's national infrastructure. If these defences are breached, it could be disastrous. It would hit customers, who could be cut off from sup- ply or face more dangerous scenarios, and it would hit the companies. They would face significant penalties and repercussions from regulators and the government, as well as from their customers who could demand compensation and move (where possible) to another supplier. There has been a spate of attacks recently on the digital infrastructure of modern busi- nesses (see box, facing page), be they retail- ers, utilities or anyone else. They highlight the ongoing arms race between companies and the hackers as the fight for control goes on. Utilities' ability keep the hackers at arm's length depends upon adhering strictly to Utility services are essential to life – and that makes them a target security protocols. These include the mun- dane, such as monitoring USB stick use and the opening of emails; and the high end, such as developing strong firewalls and anti- virus systems. Failure to do these will give the cyber- criminals an advantage. Complacency is one of the biggest weapons in the criminal's armoury. WHAT'S IN THIS ARTICLE? l Reduce your vulnerability to attack, p13 l Metal theft, p14 l Protecting physical assets, p14 l What is the cyberthreat? p16 l Improving security, p17 According to Verizon's 2016 Data Breach Investigation Report, the actors in breaches are predomi- nantly external, and the story the data consistently tells is that, when it comes to data disclosure, the attacker is not coming from inside the house. "Let's face it," says the report, "no matter how big your house may be, there are more folks outside it than there are inside it." "Cybercrime is a key concern in my own company in the South West at the moment – it is something that our board is very interested in." • Bob Taylor, managing director, Bournemouth Water WHERE DATA THREATS ARE MOST LIKELY TO COME FROM 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 n Partner n Internal n Collusion External

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